Thursday, September 10, 2009

More Willy in the Park: Theatre Thursday

The summer after Midsummer I worked with the same company, and we did two shows... As You Like It and The Tempest.

Before each performance we would warm up the crowd with some "Shakespearean games." It helped the crowd settle in and would often attract people wandering by.
This is me, leading the "Shakespearean Choir," a crowd favorite.
I am not a slut,
though I thank the gods I am foul.

The FOWL became this big cast joke, and so Audrey carried the chicken around in several scenes.

My Touchstone was a good friend of mine, we had first worked together on Cootie Shots, then Midsummer... we taught classes to kids and led Boal workshops together in schools. We used to carpool to rehearsals. All told we did 5 shows together during my 3 years in Los Angeles. We had a ball together on stage.

One weekend I went on as Phebe. You can see that the costume didn't QUITE fit... the real Phebe was a bit shorter than me.
One of the things I really appreciated about this show was the director's attention to detail. We would work a scene over and over and over again to get the timing of something as small as a head turn just right. Comedy is precision, and much, much harder than drama to do really well. It's one of the things that frustrates me about so many directors. There are moments that could be hysterical if they would just take the time to make the physicality really clear, but usually they don't take the time with the actors to make it happen. The actors are left to their own devices, and often one actor tries too hard for the laugh. The precision of physicality really calls for an outside eye. Another reason I wouldn't want to work without a director.

In The Tempest I played a water spirit. Our Prospero (or, for our production, a female ProsperA) had a spirit for each element: Ariel was earth, and we also had air, water, fire. We went everywhere Ariel went. We did an enchanting little dance with scarves.


Pretty much everyone was in both shows. We did a fundraiser in the middle of the summer where we combined the two shows, having the characters interact and such. It was fun for us to put together, we got to combine all the inside jokes into a silly show. I'm pretty sure we tried to give it a basic plot, but I can't for life of me remember what it was.

10 comments:

JCK said...

Your life is so rich with theater. It is wonderful. And I love how you share it with us, so that we can feel like we are there.

Cold Spaghetti said...

Love the "foul"... and I can't look at those scarves without thinking of the belly dancing!

de said...

I really hope some aspiring actors are lurking here. You make ME want to trot down to the local theatre.

kaye said...

what a great time, grand adventures. I wish I could watch you on stage. I have been to New Orleans twice. But I doubt I'll come again.

Louise said...

Fun, as always. I would love to see you perform. Your opinions and critiques seem good to me. I'm not an actress, but you seem the voice of reason and experience. Maybe YOU should be a director! Stranger things have happened!

flutter said...

your life really is so cool

Christine said...

i'm with flutter--you are so cool! i love hearing about your acting, and i love, love, love see the pictures. :-)

have any video?

imbeingheldhostage said...

What wonderful pictures! I love when you share this stuff, but I have to tell you that this time the juvenile me couldn't get past the title without snickering (that's a word over here heard on playgrounds and they're not talking about a kid called william). I kept scrolling to see where this post was leading...




Pathetic I know.

wheelsonthebus said...

i love your theater posts

No Mother Earth said...

At last! Someone who understands that comedy is SO much harder than drama! Perhaps that's why I'm so attracted to it.